I came across an upcoming event for American Craft Week this morning and decided to write to Charleston’s Mayor, Joe Riley, about crafts and the makers movement here in our community. I think it’s important enough to make sure that our Mayor sees these talented folks!
Dear Mayor Riley,
As a designer, artist, teacher and maker I want to be sure that you have your eye on the talent that is being nurtured here in Charleston through the “Makers Movement” via local craft galleries (like new gallery Surface, charlestoncrafts.org) and maker spaces like Spacecraft Studio, Cone 10, Rock Paper Scissors, Redux and more. These are places where people can learn new crafts make beautiful things and find a healthy personal creative outlet while meeting other like minded folks in their community.
Did you know that the first week in October (3rd – 12th) is American Craft week? http://americancraftweek.com/ Many mayor’s across the country are planning events to celebrate this movement, including this one that I saw upcoming in Asheville; http://americancraftweek.com/wnc.
Charleston’s makers movement is on the rise with some amazing, creative people who are working hard to find ways to make sustainable and local handmade items. I’m sure you know some of these talented people already, people like Mary Edna Fraser and Jocelyn Chateauvert, whose work is world renowned. This list is expanding to include newcomers like Donna Hardy who is working to revive natural Indigo (growing, processing and dyeing), Kris Westerson, a paper maker who is launching “Street Pulp”, Heather Rose Johnson of Charleston Garment Manufactory (Did you know that there is a “Slow Fiber & Fashion movement?), Susan Hull Walker who has started the Ibu Movement and will open a shop on King Street next month, Charleston Supported Art where you can “subscribe” to seasons of one of a kind art and crafts made by local artists and Spacecraft Studio where you can “Meet people Make Stuff” including using their 3–D printer! I hope you will take the time to look at some of these new small creative business’ and see the potential in them.
I know you have many important matters on your hands but I think know how important it is to stop and celebrate the fun, creative, exciting things going on and encourage them to be nurtured and celebrated! Those of us who are makers would love to hear that you offer your support and appreciation for how crafts and the makers movement are beginning to contribute to our local economy and provide us with an avenue for personal self expression.